If your patio simply can’t be refurbished because it is severely cracked or is not sloped well for drainage, learn how to tear down a concrete patio.
The surface treatments here are for concrete that has already been fully cured.
- Stain: Stains for concrete work by breaking into the surface of the paving and altering the color and/or texture. Essentially, they weaken the surface and require a sealant over the stain so that the paving doesn’t degrade.
- Scoring pattern: Scoring patterns are made simply by cutting into the concrete about ¼ inch. The cuts make a pattern across the paving that give the field of concrete a visual rhythm. Popular scoring patterns include grids, diamonds and repeating lines.
- Paving veneer: It is possible to add pavers over your existing concrete, so long as the finished height of the paving does not pose any hazards with drainage or walking. The construction detail uses the concrete as a foundation, and the pavers are mortared to the concrete base. Pay attention to how the paving’s added thickness affects the edges of your patio so that all of your stairs and walkways match up at the proper height.
A safety note about finishes: When choosing a stain or sealant, you want to maintain a nonslip surface outdoors. Therefore, most interior concrete finishes are not suitable for a landscape patio, because they become too slippery after a rain. If you are going the DIY route with stains and finishes, be sure to use only what’s formulated for outdoor use.
Don’t want to commit to building a wall? Try a trellis with vines or an outdoor screen to create an enclosure and privacy.
Think about how you can change the natural light, or add downcast lights to give your patio a different character at night. Create shade to make a patio that’s blinded by full sun feel more inviting. Brighten a dark, gloomy patio by bringing in more natural light or adding low-glow lights for nighttime.
Look at your patio and see how it can be framed overhead. This will also work to your advantage in changing the natural light. An overhead trellis creates its own pattern of light and offers the opportunity to support flowering vines, lights, a ceiling fan, speakers for music and more.
A great outdoor patio is a place for people to gather and spend time in. So, the simplest tweak is to bring out the lawn chairs and the grill and have a party. You’ll love your patio then.
By Falon Muhalic, Houzz Contributor, Landscape architect